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When Emerson was twelve, she was enamored by her grandmother Amelia and believed that what others saw as eccentricity or mental illness was instead a misunderstood gift. 

We Arrive Uninvited by Jen Knox (Steel Toe Books, 2023)

We Arrive Uninvited, won the Prose Award from Steel Toe Books 

B&N,, Indie Bound, BAM, Magers & Quinn,

or order to your local library.  For international orders, use Book Depository
We Arrive Uninvited won the 2021 Steel Toe Books Prose Award, the Winter Goose Publishing Award, and was top-rated on the Coverfly Red List.

"Jen Knox writes the healthy fiction equivalent o
f the detox smoothie you’d get if you poured half a cup of Mary Gaitskill, two tablespoons of Mary Robison, a teaspoonful of Raymond Carver, and some chilly Laura van den Berg into a Tom Waits blender and hit puree." Richard Peabody, editor Gargoyle Magazine on After the Gazebo.


“Jen Knox is a fearless writer. She can describe a Toledo community decimated by apocalyptic drought, a bakery in Nice during a terrorist attack, a surreal museum of living statues, and make every one of these things feel as real and intimate as your favorite worn-in flannel shirt. Acutely alert to the smallest moments that reveal character, her stories can give you a whole life in a few short paragraphs, laid bare in all its sorrow, glory, and restless longing. She can work dialogue, twist a plot, make you laugh out loud, and then break your heart. The Glass City speaks to the America of now as urgently as Sinclair Lewis or Theodore Dreiser did in their day, but with a touch of magic that only makes the reality beneath that much more haunting.” Sheila Black, author of Iron, Ardent on The Glass City (soon to be reissued).


Read Fiction at Five SouthjmwwFairlight Books, The Saturday Evening Post, Lunch Ticket, Chicago Review, and SFWP Quarterly. Or click on the quotes below:

"At one time, we believed in fairy tales ... " from GATHER THE INGREDIENTS

"The waters are calmer on the other side of the island, down that hill toward all the resorts ..."from LUNA

"She felt it in her toes that morning, dread that she would shove into ivory heels and dance on beneath heavy clouds. He felt ..." from AFTER THE GAZEBO

"Without Allie, the world is hushed. Even when my brothers roar like lions, Mom stomps around on clunky heels before church, or Jeff—Mom’s house-arrest boyfriend—gets restless and plays Norwegian Metal at decibels that could split an eardrum, I don’t hear much. Everything is static without my sister." from LOST HER WAY

For Essays on leadership and healthy living, find Jen's work at Sivana East, Fiction Southwest, Elephant Journal, and Lead Read Today. I have thoughts on Floating, Cupping, Technology, How to Deal with Bad Days and Writing Exercises to Conquer Fear.

Dandelion Ghosts

We were born into curiosity and raised with a light touch. We ran around trees and chased ice cream trucks down the street or stared at the world through cameras and recorded what we saw in bound journals.

The crumbling concrete alongside our homes led to narrow alleyways that promised adulthood. We congregated on the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, and marched past the plump blackberry vines and fields of dandelions. Stopping to taste the fruit or flick the heads of flowers into the alley, we enjoyed the last bit of childhood beneath a blue sky. Dirty fingers and playful shoves... (click for more)

Image by Herbert Goetsch


The animal that lives in her lower ribcage chitters, trying to get her to play. It loves nothing more than to distract from rational thought. She chuckled the first time she heard the phrase “monkey mind” because squirrels are worse. They’re tricksters.

She feeds and cares for her squirrel. Bob Ross would be proud. She feeds it neurosis and sugar, lots of sugar, until the day she thinks something needs to change...

Image by Geran de Klerk
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